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SKEPTICISM
[ Also see Agnosticism Atheism Doubt Indecision Misanthropy Questions Superstition Unbelief ]

Scepticism is a barren coast, without a harbor or lighthouse.
      - Henry Ward Beecher

Oh! lives there, Heaven! beneath thy dread expanse,
  One hopeless, dark idolater of chance,
    Content to feed with pleasures unrefin'd,
      The lukewarm passions of a lowly mind;
        Who mouldering earthward, 'reft of every trust,
          In joyless union wedded to the dust,
            Could all his parting energy dismiss,
              And call this barren world sufficient bliss?
      - Thomas Campbell

It is men of faith, not sceptics, who have made the world aware that they were in it.
      - William Ellery Channing

Scepticism has never founded empires, established principles, or changed the world's heart. The great doers in history have always been men of faith.
      - Edwin Hubbell Chapin

This a sacred rule we find
  Among the nicest of mankind,
    (Which never might exception brook
      From Hobbes even down to Bolingbroke,)
        To doubt of facts, however true,
          Unless they know the causes too.
      - Charles Churchill

As a man of pleasure, by a vain attempt to be more happy than any man can be, is often more miserable than most men are, so the sceptic, in a vain attempt to be wise beyond what is permitted to man, plunges into a darkness more deplorable, and a blindness more incurable than that of the common herd, whom he despises, and would fain instruct.
      - Charles Caleb Colton

The sceptic, when he plunges into the depths of infidelity, like the miser who leaps from the shipwreck, will find that the treasures which he bears about him will only sink him deeper in the abyss.
      - Charles Caleb Colton

Skepticism is the first step on the road to philosophy.
      - Denis Diderot

Skepticism is slow suicide.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sceptics are yet the most credulous.
      - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability.
      - David Hume

I know not any crime so great that a man could contrive to commit as poisoning the sources of eternal truth.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature")

Sceptics are generally ready to believe anything, provided it is sufficiently improbable.
      - Karl von Knebel

The sceptic only stumbles at matter of fact.
      - Karl von Knebel

Improbability is the food upon which scepticism is nourished.
      - John Locke (1)

Scepticism commonly takes up the room left by defect of imagination, and is the very quality of mind most likely to seek for sensual proof of supersensual things. If one came from the dead it could not believe; and yet it longs for such a witness, and will put up with a very dubious one.
      - James Russell Lowell

The world would be astonished if it knew how great a proportion of its brightest ornaments, of those most distinguished even in popular estimation for wisdom and virtue, are complete skeptics in religion.
      - John Stuart Mill

If a man have a strong faith he can indulge in the luxury of skepticism.
      - Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

Skepticism, riddling the faith of yesterday, prepared the way for the faith of tomorrow.
      - Romain Rolland

Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep insights can be winnowed from deep nonsense.
      - Carl Sagan

Don't rely too much on labels, for too often they are fables.
      - Charles Haddon Spurgeon

An atheist is more reclaimable than a papist, as ignorance is sooner cured than superstition.
      - Laurence Sterne

Freethinkers are generally those who never think at all.
      - Laurence Sterne

It is ever the improbable that the sceptic is the most ready to give ear to.
      - Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire)

Large skepticism leads to large understanding. Small skepticism leads to small understanding. No skepticism leads to no understanding.
      - Xi Zhi


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